The buzz you’ll get at this 12th annual sip fest is strictly of the caffeinated variety, but oh, what a buzz it’ll be. Savor perky pours from more than 60 nationwide vendors including Wandering Bear Coffee, Birds & Beans and Brooklyn’s Tea Dealers. Beyond downing copious samples, take part in seminars on topics ranging from coffee decaffeination, Chemex brewing and oolong comparative tasting, and head home with the childlike thrill of being utterly sober.
Closed. BKLYN Yard is indeed a yard, one that sits beside the pungent Gowanus Canal. It's rather ramshackle, in a postindustrial-meets-bucolic sort of way. Which, in our book, makes it one of the most fun places to check out the wide range of bands and DJs—both top locals and big-name out-of-towners—that regularly play here on weekend afternoons and evenings.
Back in the ’70s, Kenny's Castaways was a kind of alternative to CBGB or the Bottom Line, hosting its share of high-profile young acts. Those days are long gone for the scruffy Village bar, though it has received a second wind courtesy of bookings from the annual Winter Jazzfest.
The focus here is squarely on the music (ranging from techno and electro to deep house and hip hop) and building a scene. It’s hardly a revolutionary concept, but in today’s nightlife world of going for the quick buck, Love stands out from the crowd. The main room is a sparsely furnished box, but the DJ lineup is pretty impressive—the likes of the seminal Chicago house DJ Derrick Carter and Body & Soul’s Joe Claussell have graced the decks. The sound system is stunning.
When it opened in 2009, this was the first LGBT bar in the borough in a decade. As Staten Island's sole gay watering hole, it has a little something for everyone, from comedy nights and go-go-boy-fueled dance parties to live music and drag performances. Bar food is available, too.
This cozy basement space hosts some of the quirkier up-and-coming comics not yet ready for the mainstage upstairs. But what's not to enjoy? Their shows are creative and cheap, the bathroom is close, and the lower bar doesn't generally require a drink minimum.
The fireplace, cozy sofas and club chairs at this rooftop bar suggest the decadent penthouse apartment you’ll probably never afford. The enclosed greenhouse and the outdoor terrace (in less frigid weather) are both ideal perches for sipping luxurious cocktails—such as the $12 Hemingway made with rum, mint and champagne—and enjoying the multimillion-dollar view of midtown’s soaring skyscrapers.
In its popular series of summertime Concert Cruises, local promoter Rocks Off proposes a literally movable feast of musical offerings. Most bookings hew to the fair-weather variety, including jam bands galore; still, you'll surely be surprised by some of the diverse options with which you can set sail.
This temporary plaza, formerly a parking lot and soon to be a 30-story high-rise, will spend the summer of 2011 as the High Line's party central. For a few months Tom Colicchio will curate a rotating schedule of food trucks and a beer-and-wine bar, the Lot on Tap. Art installations, outdoor films and other public programs will undoubtedly attract crowds.
This Lower East Side flea hosts one of the best collections of food vendors in Manhattan, with more upstarts joining the fray each week. Standouts include Mighty Balls, which tops its fluffy, two-bite meatballs with fresh cheeses and globally inspired condiments, like spicy-sweet jalapeño jelly and purple cranberry-horseradish chutney. Adirondack Creamery, an upstate outfit that makes ice cream using local dairy, sells pints and small cups in flavors such as Strawberry Moon, a creamy blend of vanilla ice cream and fresh diced strawberries. And the Wonder City Coffee & Donut Bar stand—a spin-off of the Brindle Room’s morning java service—seduces caffeine-seeking grazers with bright pour-overs made with beans from Plowshare Coffee Roasters and topped with generous dollops of whipped milk. The orange-zest–infused doughnut holes use mashed potatoes in the batter to produce a sturdy crust and springy interior; they’re served with powdered sugar and gooey house-made caramel sauce.